Skip to comments.Man arrested for Facebook comment threatening Gov. Haley's life
Posted on 11/23/2011 3:28:11 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A South Carolina man is accused of threatening the life of Gov. Nikki Haley on Facebook, but he claims he was only making a point about free speech.
When 26-year-old Nathan Shafer heard about the arrests of 19 Occupy Columbia members outside the State House last Wednesday, he did what lots of people do when they get angry -- he vented about it on the Internet. He saw Gov. Haley's Facebook post about the arrests and Haley's comment that she "appreciate[s] freedom of speech," and that's when authorities say Shafer crossed the line.
"I hope someone murders you before I do," Shafer said he commented on the post. "How's that for freedom of speech?"
The next day, Shafer says two State Law Enforcement Division agents visited him in Charlotte to discuss the comment. Shafer says he retracted and deleted his statement, promised he wasn't serious and apologized to the Haley family.
Still, Shafer says SLED agents called him again on Tuesday and told him he'll be prosecuted for the alleged threat. Shafer turned himself in at noon on Wednesday at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
"I just think the whole situation is completely ridiculous and blown out of proportion," Shafer wrote shortly before his arrest.
Threats against public officials are naturally taken very seriously, even when a comment was supposedly made in jest. In July, however, a federal court ruled that a man who posted online statements calling for President Barack Obama's assassination was merely exercising his free speech rights.
At issue, according to the court, is whether a "reasonable person" would view the statement in question as a genuine threat. In Shafer's case, that remains to be seen.
Threatening a Republican’s life is illegal?
There are people in SC with a real hate for Gov. Haley....I spoke with a Dem neighbor that spoke in harsh language about her that I thought was reserved for Sarah Palin or President Bush.
Words mean things...
He thinks this is blown out of proportion? Does he understand irony? He needs to be monitored by the criminal justice system until he gets a better perspective. Wishing one’s political opponents dead is really blowing things out of proportion.
All such speech must be view within its context. This thug made his threat with a throng of hateful, vicious, proven lawbreakers at his back. It is every bit plausible that he would follow through with his threat.
It’s not illegal in Wisconsin. Guess, S.C. is different.
It really looks grossly hypocritical for the authorities to have such different reactions to "threats" to politicians. Are we supposed to believe "dissent is patriotic" only for one corner of the political spectrum?
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Artical 1 Section 2 of the South Carolina constitution states:
“SECTION 2. Religious freedom; freedom of speech; right of assembly and petition.
The General Assembly shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government or any department thereof for a redress of grievances. “
I like Nikki, I think she is one of the best governors of theses United States, certainly the hottest. But she much recognize that South Carolinian have the reserved right to say just not act to harm anther.
Not in Wisconsin.
This is ridiculous. Typing words on a screen is a crime? We have no freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech we have no freedom. Why give government thugs more power to censor the Internet and to arrest you for what is on a web page? What if some one impersonating you types something on some web site and then government thugs then come arrest you and put you in prison ?
Look I hate liberals/democrats/socialists, but freedom of speech is very important.
Laws that protect elected officials from the words of the electorate are just one more way that the political class have used their positions to enact statutes to coddle themselves.
The First Amendment was put there specifically to protect political speech. Our Founding Fathers, and other politicians of the day endured much more in the way of hate speech than our pampered minders of today.
I love Governor Haley, by the way, but she needs to call the dogs off on this one.
16-17-735 False assertion of authority of law, in attempt to intimidate or hinder state or local official in discharge of duties, by threats or use of sham legal process.
16-3-1040(A) Threatening life, person or family of public official
16-8-240(B) Use of or threat of physical violence by criminal gang member
Thanks for the bump Cindy.
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